Michael Morawski is a 30+ year real estate investment professional who has controlled over $285 mm in real estate transactions and syndications. A real estate investment consultant trainer & coach, an author & public speaker. Experienced in residential, multifamily sales, investing & property management. He is a Founder and CEO of a private equity firm that acquired and operated four thousand apartments in five MSA’s. As the company CEO, visionary, and rainmaker, he led company growth from start-up to sixty-million dollars in real estate holdings.
Michael has a strong personal resilience and a deep desire to help others live an extraordinary life through smart, strategic real estate investing. Over his career, Michael has trained and coached hundreds of real estate investors to fulfill their financial dreams and live an extraordinary life. He has developed a successful residential real estate sales team and support staff selling over one hundred homes annually. Mike also led the firm’s business planning, development, hiring, and training and had coached and mentored team members to create a productive and profitable work environment.
With a strong personal resilience and a deep desire to help others live extraordinary lives. He has coached hundreds of real estate investors to fulfill their dreams
Know more about Mike here:
Click To Read The Transcript
Michael Morawski Shares His Wisdom & Unique Journey of Rebuilding an Empire
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of underdog. Today I have an amazing guest here with me, Mike, how are you?
I’m great. How are you today? Pamela,
I’m doing lovely, my friend, you are a total rock star. And I’m so pumped to get into your story and have everybody share what you’ve shared with me. Which I’m like Mind blown about your journey and your trajectory and where you are today. So I’d like to get into that.
Yeah, I’m definitely excited to let your listeners hear about some of the stumbles in the journey and things that have happened along the way.
I appreciate you, Mike, I appreciate you being here, given your background everywhere and every person that you are now. Like what inspired you on your journey to where you are today?
What’s funny is I think that I’ve always been inspired over the years by coaches and mentors and people around me, right. I’ve always been a big advocate that success leaves clues. And that if we pay attention to those things and those people around us. We ask enough questions, we can be successful, what inspired me today. I have to call, I have to go to an event that happened to me during a prison sentence. And why I’m where I am today is because of a conversation that I had with somebody for six weeks. Into a 10-year prison sentence in federal prison, where somebody walked up to me and said. Don’t let these people beat you. All they want to do is take everything from you.
They can take all the apartments you own, they can take your property management companies. And they can take your cars, they can take your houses, they can rip your family apart. But they can’t take what’s really important and what you have and that’s your desire and your knowledge. He goes, get this 10 years back, doesn’t let these people beat you. And that was a very inspirational comment for me at the time. Because I had been beaten beyond belief. Entering prison, I thought my life was over, then my wife decided to divorce me and move on with her life and I was at my end. You go from a place where you build successful companies and you have some success.
And then you’ve had some stumbles along the way from living up a pretty modest upper class, middle life, upper middle-class lifestyle. All of a sudden you’re in a 12 by 12 room with three guys. You don’t know in a two-by-five locker with three green outfits and five pairs of underpants, you wonder what happened to your life. And so I did feel beaten, I felt like it was over like it was done. So this conversation that that guy had with me, really made me turn a corner. There’s a saying in prison that says, hey, you can either do the time or let the time, do you. I chose to do the time while I was gone. Which brings me to where I’m at today.
Thank you so much for sharing that. I think you show so much for sharing that. Like I mean, what a journey, and I mean, you mentioned that you started successful companies, and you kind of ended up in this space. And as you walk me through, like what inspired you on your business journey and sort of what you were doing prior to?
So great question, right? I’ve been in real estate for like 30 years. Prior to that, I was in a general contracting business. And had a really successful construction company and woke up one morning and I was just burnt out. I couldn’t do it anymore and I looked at my wife at the time and said. Hey, I’m done, I can’t do this anymore. So we decided to sell the company, the company took a year off to try and decide what I wanted to do, during that time we house hacked. This was long before house hacking was the sexy thing to do, right, and house hacked a couple of two flats. I met a real estate agent along the way.
And I’ve mentioned success leaves clues. But I met this real estate agent and he was really, really productive, really successful and I thought you know what. Let me talk to him about going into real estate. Maybe that’s something that I’d want to do and I went and had a conversation with him and he said. Man, I think you’d be great at it. I said good. Could I come in, you know, Shadow you and follow you around? And he said no, he goes. You know what, I’m gonna make you a cassette tape and you listen to it and you do what I put on this tape and you’ll be successful. So I listened to that tape over and over again and I went into the real estate sales business.
In my first nine months in the business, I sold 78 houses. Because I followed some simple rules, I followed some simple principles. Some fundamentals, I mastered the repetitive boredom that so many people don’t want to do, right. And from there, I went on, I built a team selling 125 homes a year. I did that for about seven or eight years consecutively. And realized that the market was starting to soften in 2005. I knew I was going to have to go do something else, I had always wanted to be in the apartment business and get into multifamily and own big apartment complexes.
So in 2005, I syndicated my first apartment deal, small 11 units and from there, I raised $18 million. I bought $16 million worth of real estate, like 4000 apartments in five different states, and did that in 30 months. And I built a property management company. We manage 7500 units, that’s when in 2008 when the market hit a wall I had grown so fast. And we were very unstable as a company. I was over-leveraged, I paid too much for properties, I didn’t pay attention to the red flags along the way, I didn’t listen to people around me and I imploded in 2010. So what I tried to do was to keep my company afloat and save my investors.
I moved money back and forth between companies. And wound up being charged on wire fraud and mail fraud. For charges for that for non-disclosure for not telling my investors. What I was doing wasn’t so much moving the money between companies. Because my accountant and my attorney told me that it was okay, If we would have put, you know. If we had notes between the companies, which we did. But I would take money from profitable companies. And put them in non-profitable companies thinking that the market would come back, you know. I’d been involved in recessions before and seen a 10% correction lasting 1718 months.
But this was, you know, a 40% correction in the market in the last 878 years. Some people are still affected today by it. So, because of that, I tried to save my investors. I didn’t want to go to them and tell them that we had failed. Or that we were failing and that their properties were upside down and wound up, you know. Being charged on federal wire fraud and mail fraud charges.
What a story. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m like, I don’t mean, because it’s something that you did innocently. Like you didn’t think it was that severe. You’re just trying to protect everyone and protect your investors. But little, you know, little did you know, right? Exactly. Did you know, and it’s like, these are mistakes that could cost you big time. So anybody who’s listening right now. Because I know a lot of people are in the real estate business that are listening.
And a lot of them are in the multifamily space. Or have their own funds and are developers and have investors that they have to cater to. So listen to what Mike just said about moving things around. Whenever you’re dealing with investors, everything has to be disclosed and transparent. I mean, that’s a huge lesson there. But Mike you have had such a successful real estate career, I mean. 78 houses in your first year, just your success and how big you got so fast.
What were some of your biggest tips on success? And you mentioned over-leverage if you could also sort of elaborate on that for anyone who’s not in the real estate space. Like what does that mean? Because there might be a lot of people that might be a bit over-leveraged right now. And now would be the time to sell before they know what’s gonna happen in the next few years.
So, you know, a couple things that happened along the way, Pamela, I grew way too fast. In 2007, I bought 17 deals, it was like 2700 units. It was just way too much inventory to try and stabilize. Because if it would have been 2700 units in one purchase or two purchases. It would have been different, but it was 17 transactions. So they were scattered all over and trying to do it was like juggling a lot of plates, right. And I had people in place thinking that they were doing what they were supposed to be doing. They were just overwhelmed and we weren’t saying that they needed help and couldn’t get things done.
So I kind of took my eye off the ball, because I was always of the opinion. Hey, build the company, be the face of the company, go get investors, and find more deals. Every time you close a deal, you’re gonna bring cash in. So I thought we could just keep it running that time. Where we couldn’t raise any more money and the time came where. We couldn’t buy any more deals. But over-leveraged, I was 15% down on all my properties. You know, simple math says if I bought $16 million worth of real estate, I raised $18 million. 15% of 60 million is like $15 million. I always suggest to people, don’t ever be anywhere outside of 65 to 75% loan to value.
Make sure you’re 25 to 30% in your deal in equity because it keeps your payments down and keeps your costs down. It helps you mitigate the storm. So I was over-leveraged from that standpoint, we paid too much for most of the properties that we bought. And part of that was being blinded by what was going on in the market. So if you look at today, the market is on this trajectory going straight up, right. And it almost appears that there’s no bumps in that road and what happens. If you start buying properties on the way up like this and then the market does this, you bought way too high and that was one problem.
So between being over-leveraged and paying too much for properties. then the inability to be able to stabilize them fast enough. What we should have done, was we should have bought a property. Started doing the construction, the rehab, the value add retaining it. Getting it back to an occupancy that was palatable and then going on to the next deal. But we didn’t, we tried to do it all at once. And granted, we got the occupancies, up pretty high, at an average occupancy of 92%. But when the market hit a wall and people moved out. Because we were really heavy in the car and transportation industry markets.
So when you look at the Ohio Valley, and you’ve got FedEx and you know. Car manufacturers and you know little businesses that make parks for car manufacturing facilities. And all of a sudden they’re not making cars anymore and they’re not ground transporting materials. Or packages anymore, nobody has money to pay their bills. Didn’t raise enough money on deals, should raise more money. Put money on reserves, have money in escrow, we didn’t do that. I didn’t pay attention to a lot of the red flags around. You know, one thing I always tell people is, Hey, don’t fall in love with the deal. Don’t fall in love with what you’re doing.
The banks were throwing money at us, you could buy anything for a period of time there. And once you had a couple of 1000 units. The banks just loved you and you almost looked, you couldn’t do anything wrong. A couple of buddies of mine that I was in were in real estate for years. When they were out at dinner, they said, Man, you’ve hit the big time. And I thought, Man, you know, maybe we have and it wasn’t shortly after that. We imploded. But it’s interesting how you can grab that perception pretty quick.
Right now I appreciate all of your tips sort of throughout the way that you’ve learned because it’s like. Everybody’s dream is to own 1000s of units and do this and explode and become this big. Like real estate stupid superstar, but you got to do it carefully. If you grow too big, too fast and you can’t keep up with it. Your risk levels like and you mentioned too, that I was scattered throughout different states. So it’s, uh, you know, it’s hard to get to sites like that. I mean, for me all my sites are within 1520 minutes of each other on purpose.
Because I want to see everything right unless you already have systems in place. And like, you know, the markets, well, you have a great team. But like you said, it would have been better to start off once stabilized, be better, you know what I mean? So you can keep up and maintain with all that I can’t imagine 17 transactions, 2700 units all at the same time. Like I can’t even process that, you know. Even on one site that you’re dealing with general contractors and subcontractors as a whole production, let alone for 2700 units, you know, oh my god. Yeah.
There are so many moving parts. It’s not like you buy a single-family house and it’s there and you put a tenant in it. And hope that they stay there and they pay the utilities and there’s a lot of moving parts. In a multifamily deal, especially when you start to scale. There’s management, there’s employees, I built a company with 138 employees. So it’s interesting how fast that can happen, especially when the market is so hot.
What were some of your biggest tips of success and how you got so big, so fast?
Relationships, I think that this business is a relationship business, Pamela. It comes down to the fact of how well you know somebody and how close you are with somebody. I have some really key close relationships with people in the industry. And even today, since I’ve been home we know that things happen and I have some friends that are very supportive, you know. Hey, we know you’re gonna knock it out of the park again. So, my coaching clients, I am always connecting people with people. I’ve always been a connector.
And I think that that’s important and I have even more important than that is I have people in my life. Those are connectors that connect me like if I call, I called the guy this morning and he said. Hey, look, I got a coaching client. He’s trying to get $5 million under contract in the next 90 days. Who do you know in these markets and he gave me four or five leads. It’s relationships. There’s that old cliche Pamela it says, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know?
That’s awesome, ya know, cuz like I said, it’s everybody. Anybody who’s in real estate, it’s their dream to become this big, bad, you know. Real estate entrepreneurs, you know, then like, crush it with all these units and all these investors and stuff like that. So just interested to know, like, how you scaled that and now when you had mentioned it. That you were imploding, what was that process like for you at the time? And like, how did you get through it day by day?
Because I know that there are people listening that may be going through. Something similar or have gone through something similar. How did you push through on your day to dad at that time. During which part when you knew when you realized like crap, I’m over-leveraged, things are not going so great. What kind of things do I do? You know, before you actually went to prison?
Yeah. So there’s some stories, right? First of all, I wrote a paper that we had just published in the Business Journal of ethics. I coauthored it with a professor from the University of Minnesota. And it actually gets taught at the collegiate level for forensic accounting classes and sales and marketing classes, I will start this paper with a story. I had a board of advisors and 12 men and women who were much smarter than I was. Eight of them were in other industries outside of real estate, manufacturing, shipment, procurement. You know, I mean, other industries.
These were smart business owners and I would go to them once a quarter. And we would talk about my business and they’d give me ideas and direction and help me. I think that that was part of what, you know, I’m a huge success leaves clues. Guy, you know, when I go to pee, I go to people and ask questions. How do you do this? What do you do, but I tell the story, I’m walking into a board meeting in the beginning of 2010. And I have all the intentions in the world of talking to the board about what’s going on in my business being upside down. Because we imploded about the third quarter in 2009. Where it got to a point where we knew we were going to be in trouble. Now.
Did I know I was going to be in criminal trouble? Absolutely not. But we knew we were going to have to do something with the company. I was met in the parking lot by my in-house legal counsel. Now, here’s somebody I pay a couple $100,000 a year to think. And he’s got my back and he says to me. Hey, listen, I don’t want to talk to the board tonight about any of this stuff and I’m like Why? I said, you know, we’re meeting with these people to talk to them about how upside down we are. And what can we do to write the ship? He goes, Yeah, but we don’t have enough information, I said. How do we not have enough information?
We can’t pay our bills, our occupancies have dropped, we can’t re-rent properties, we can’t get enough concessions in order to fill them. I said, you know, the numbers aren’t working. He goes, Yeah, but we need more time, I said. What do we need, he goes, give me two weeks, we’ll have a conference call. And we’ll get everybody on the phone and that never happened. But I walked into that meeting with a totally different conversation. And I think that was one of those situations where if I would have handled it differently. I knew in my gut of guts, you know, I built this company to this point. Now I’m going to let people tell me what to do to try and straighten out a problem that they kind of backed us into.
So I doubted myself. I started to doubt myself and I think that as an entrepreneur, as a CEO, as a business owner, as a woman. Or a man who runs a company, at some point, you start to doubt yourself. You start to doubt where you’re at in your ability. And that’s where I found myself in a parking lot that I thought I’d, you know. Pay this guy a couple 100 grand a year and he can’t be all that wrong. So I think that that meeting if that meeting would have gone differently. My life might have gone a little bit different to maybe not. But that was one of those downfalls, I never told my wife about business. And we never talked about it, because it was always so up and down.
I just never wanted her to worry. And she worried way over the top about everything and I wanted to keep her from the challenges now I share. We closed another deal or a couple more investors or this or that. I think one of the smartest things I ever did was keep her away from the business, as much I did. Because she knew nothing when we imploded, so in 2011 after the Christmas holidays. Now, remember my wife doesn’t know anything. But in 2011 I’m going back to work and I asked my wife said hey, you should just take this one. Right after the holidays, I asked Esther if she was taking my daughter to school and I said, Are you coming back? She said, No. I said, well, could you come back?
I need to talk to you. She says out of clear blue, nowhere, she goes, why are you going to jail? And I thought, Oh, my God, how did you know? So I spent the next four hours telling her about everything wound up in my attorney’s office. And my attorney didn’t think that that there was going to be a problem, right. That there were no criminal charges or anything like that going on. Then it just kind of imploded from there and turned upside down from there. But it was a crazy period of time. So from that point, though, from those two couple of meetings. My life really started to go off the rails.
So that meeting with my attorney in the parking lot, I started to doubt myself. Like-kind of came off the rails, wasn’t making good choices, wasn’t making good business decisions. And then that incident with my wife and from there, you know. Wasn’t shortly after that I was in court being indicted, I left court that day. And I said to her, I said, Look, I said I’m going to go to prison. We don’t know for how long and I said we have a couple of choices, we could give you an envelope with some money in it. You can hope that it doesn’t run out. But I think we’re better off if I build a business and you know, keep the kids in the house. So I went out and I built a property management company.
And for the next two years, because that was 2011, I went to prison in 2013. For the next two years, I worked seven days a week, 20 hours a day. I built another property management company, which was a scattered-site, single-family residential management company. And when I went to prison, she managed about 240 units. So she had a good business and kept her kids in the house while I was gone. But my life was off the rails. I was so worried, so scared, I was worried about it. What was going to happen in my family and my kids, my wife and how was I going to help them to keep it all together while I was gone? So that was kind of a long answer to your question. But you know, I hope I got you there.
I know you did. Thank you so much for sharing that, Mike, thank you so much. I mean, in those moments, like, What kept you sort of going because it sounds like you hit rock bottom. And you keep going off the rails off the rails and then you’re getting closer to a rock bottom. What kept you motivated every day? Because this is the type of stuff that would have me sitting in my bed and not doing anything almost. What kept you going during the hardest times?
Yeah, so I’ve never been like that, right? I’ve never been one to, to buy in, you know, to get so stuck that I can’t move. And I know people let me get if I can do anything with my message and give some hope and some inspiration to people. You don’t have to be stuck, you know, that kid in prison said to me. Don’t let these people beat you. And I would just say back, don’t let the situation beat you.
There’s more to life than that. There’s more to life than just, you know, we all have demons. And I believe my personal belief is that we all have our own personal prison. Somewhere that we’re stuck in and you can beat it or not. And I think it becomes self-discipline, it becomes being able to reach out and ask for help when you need it. It becomes being honest and transparent with other people.
Was there any mantra or anything that you kept like saying to yourself as you were going through all this, like day by day. Especially as you were waiting for the indictment were like you knew, but like, it just was like times was like, how did you.
What was going through my mind was I have to build this company for my wife and kids. Because we don’t know what’s going to happen to me. I had no idea I was going to you know, I mean, I had no idea how long I was going to go away for, but you know. There’s some good news in all this. While I was gone, I reinvented myself.
What was important before is probably not as important today while I was gone, you know. I had that conversation with that guy and when I walked into the gym, he said. Don’t let these people beat you and I made a decision at that point, that I wasn’t going to let him beat me. I was 35 pounds overweight. He said come to the gym or start working out every day, lose weight, you’re going to feel better.
And I started going to the gym every day. I started losing weight, I started feeling better about myself, I came home in better shape physically than I ever have been in my life. And I went to college, I got a four year bachelor’s degree in theology, I wrote two books, I wrote two home study courses, I wrote an ethics course, I taught real estate investing in multifamily in property management and ethics in prison for five years, I taught Bible studies for five years, I was at an outreach programme that went into the community.
And I told my story 40 times to small business owners, local corporations, and the major colleges in the area. That’s where I met the professor that we coauthored this paper with. It’s an ethics paper that we just had published in the Business Journal of ethics. So I didn’t let them beat me. Because today, I came home in better shape physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually than I’d ever been in my life. And today, I’m working on financial piece. But, you know, I know it’ll happen in time.
Amen. Mike, that’s an underdog story right there. Like, Don’t let them beat you. And at that point, it’s like, you know, anyone listening in is probably like, Oh, my God. That’s rock bottom, that’s Oh, my God, but it’s like, don’t let these people beat you. And that fueled you and motivated you to propel further. I mean, look at all the amazing things that you did in the process. Yeah, you’re doing the time, you’re not letting the time do you. Which I find just so remarkable that you turned it all around with a whole new different perspective. Because I don’t know many people that would have survived the way that you did and turned it into such a positive spin.
I just commend you tremendously for that. Because it takes a lot of heart, a lot of courage to move forward from that. And to do it in such a positive and beautiful way. When you were released, I mean, what was that transition? Like for you, sort of coming back into everything? And like, you know, the adaptability? I mean, you’re an entrepreneur by trade, I can tell. So I feel like it’s probably easier for you, because you’re used to adapting and problem solving. But you know, what was that transition? Like?
Yeah, so interesting, right? I was gone for seven and a half years and just for seven and a half years. You walk around and you see the same 567, 100 guys every day. And you are in this environment, that is pretty much the same. You go to prison, it’s like you died and your whole life when I’m ahead of you. I mean, I came home to technology, you know, let’s just talk about how technology was so different. And I remember my 13-year-old daughter said to me, she was five when I left.
When I came home, she was 13. And she said to me, she goes, dad, relax. She goes, you know, how to do it once before you’ll figure it out again and, you know, wisdom right from the file. But it was so cool. Because she was right and overtime here, I figured it out, this social media thing and computers and technology. And how to do things again, because you don’t have any of those resources in prison. Unless you want to get in trouble if you get caught with them.
So yeah, I had none of those resources. And then you come home and you know. Your family’s kind of torn apart and so there’s all of that to deal with. So there’s a lot of emotion and a lot of smart brain technology, things you gotta think through and figure out. You’re right, I’ve been an entrepreneur, my whole life, I’m figuring it out. When I came home, I started a company where I coached and trained. I’m providing information and knowledge for people. Because I have so much information and knowledge from over the years.
I love that Mike, I love that you’re giving back now. And you’re kind of like sharing your story in order to help empower people, you know. To take it to the next level, that’s you know and that no matter where you’ve been. Don’t dictate your future, which I think is the most powerful thing. Because you could have sat there and just let life do its course and not do anything about it.
Just kind of give up. Throw your hands in the air. But you did all this and like, look at where you are now. It’s just so remarkable and I truly commend you, because it just takes so much character and so much heart. And you know, like, my biggest question is always this, like, what would your older self tell your younger self, based on what you know now in your life experiences?
Slow down and think things through? Don’t make so many quick rash decisions and choices? Slow down and think things through? Amen to that.
Michael Biggest Source of Inspiration
And what would you say was like your biggest source of inspiration, like, throughout your early years or any at any point in your life?
Well, I think there’s been a number of people along the way, I don’t know that there’s just one person. You know, Listen, my dad, of course, for years growing up was, you know, his work ethic, I learned work ethic from him. I don’t come from a family that was an entrepreneurial family, I don’t come from a family that knew anything about real estate. And my dad said to me one time in his infinite wisdom. Listen, if you ever go into business for yourself, go into food, shelter, clothing. And I’ve always been in shelter between construction and real estate and for the most part. It’s never failed me.
I love that, I love them. Like, I just adore your story and just like who you are and what you represent. And just like all that you’re doing now. So if you could give us a little bit of insight Tell me what’s going on in Mike’s world like this for the next six to 12 months? What’s new on the horizon? For you, my friend?
Yeah, sure. I built a company called my core intentions, a coaching and training platform. I teach multifamily investors how to scale their business and grow their business. But I live a better quality of lifestyle, I also work with the other support people around that. So if you’re a property manager or your broker or you’re in some form. Or fashion supportive of that investor, as a professional. I work with those individuals as well, helping them work with the investors more. And build their business, I was very productive in the real estate sales business. So I can teach people how to prospect and be productive and build their business and find and source deals.
And a lot of things like that, while I was gone. I wrote two books, published one, last year, late last year called exit plan. Your complete guide to multifamily investing and why you need an exit plan before you buy. Over the years, I spent hundreds of 1000s of dollars in coaching and training and seminars, great teachers, great coaches out there. But everybody teaches you how to get into a deal. How to find a deal, how to operate it, nobody teaches you how to get out. And my whole philosophy is to understand the exit, which doesn’t mean you’re selling and giving up control all the time. But understands the exit and how to get there.
So you know, there’s that old saying in real estate, right that you make money when you buy the deal. But we don’t realize it until we get out of it. That’s when we realize that profit, so I do three boot camps throughout the year. I do one on understanding multifamily, one on multifamily acquisitions, and then one on property management. Then in October, I do a three-day virtual summit, where I’ll have 20 speakers from around the country participate. Bring knowledge and three days of knowledge and information. We did it last year and it was just off the chains. So it’s a great event. My whole program is to give back. How do I provide value back to the investor through mentorship and coaching and training.
I love it, Mike, I love what you’re up to. And I love that you’re about bringing back value and still sticking to your true core values. You know, even though everything that you’ve been through, you didn’t let your values break now, once which I respect so much. So thank you so much. Like and now where Can everybody find you, your awesomeness, your courses, info, summits, all of that good stuff.
Sure. So my website is my core intentions calm. That’s where you can grab hold of any podcasts or information or you know material. I’d love to give your listeners a copy of my book, they can go download a free copy of the exit plan. It is at my core intentions comm forward-slash exit plan. And if you want to reach me personally, it’s Mike at my core intentions.
Thank you so much, Mike, I appreciate you sharing your story today. I just can’t wait to see where you go from here and just keep growing and keep crushing it and just, thank you so much for being vulnerable. Sharing your story and just being the awesome person that you are. Thank you.
Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with the amazing Michael Morawski.